Temporal range: Eocene – Holocene, 54–0Ma
|Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)|
Psittacoidea (true parrots)
Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots)
|Range of Parrots, all species (red)|
Parrots, also known as psittacines //, are birds of the roughly 372 species in 86 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is subdivided into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea (‘true’ parrots), the Cacatuoidea (cockatoos) and the Strigopoidea (New Zealand parrots). Parrots have a generally pantropical distribution with several species inhabiting temperate regions in the Southern Hemisphere as well. The greatest diversity of parrots is in South America and Australasia.
Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly coloured, and some are multi-coloured. The plumage of cockatoos ranges from mostly white to mostly black, with a mobile crest of feathers on the tops of their heads. Most parrots exhibit little or no sexual dimorphism. They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length.
The most important components of most parrots’ diets are seeds, nuts, fruit, buds and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat animals and carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialised for feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which hatch altricial (helpless) young.
Some interesting facts on Parrots:
Parrots have a wide range of articulations. Wild parrots do not imitate. Only pets will mimic people and noises they hear. The African gray parrots are the best mimics.
More than 90 percent of the parrots imported into the United States are probably wild caught.
It is thought that two million parrots alone are legally or illegally traded each year.
More than 1.8 million parrots legally entered the international trade from 1982-1988 of which 80 percent were imported into the United States. Many die during this journey.
Recent figures suggest that 40 percent of these species are threatened primarily by habitat destruction, 17 percent primarily by trade, 36 percent by a combination of the two causes and 7 percent by other factors.
At least 30 percent of the 140 parrot species found in the Western Hemisphere are now threatened with extinction.
An additional 25,000 parrots die of suffocation, starvation, inhumane treatment while being transported to the Texas border.
An estimated 25,000 wild parrots, caught or plucked from their nests in Mexico, are smuggled across the Texas border each year.
Every year, approximately 250,000 parrots are imported to the United States to satisfy a demand for exotic birds as pets.
It is estimated in the year 2000 there were 60 million birds in 6.13 million homes.
In 1990 there were 11 million pet birds living in 5.1 million households in the US
By 1996 the number of pet birds had grown to 40 million while the number of homes remained fairly consistent at 5.9 million.
In the wild, Macaws and Cockatoos can fly 500 miles per day in search of food!
Some parrot vocalizations can be heard for up to 1 mile!
Wild parrots live in the forest of tropical zones including South America, Australia, and New Guinea. A few live in Africa and mainland Asia.
Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 85 years.
Africa is developing fast. Economies and human populations are booming and as they do, demands on resources are increasing. Habitats are disappearing or becoming increasingly degraded and unable to support the parrot populations they once did. Several countries in Africa have some of the highest rates of deforestation in the world.
Because of their global popularity as pets, large numbers of parrots are trapped each year. Many populations are unable to support high rates of harvesting and once trappers have depleted local populations they move on to new areas. In addition there are the threats of disease and persecution as perceived crop pests. Often, multiple threats can act in concert and effective solutions can be far from straightforward.
First Home Forever Home’s “I’m A Keeper!” series is a collection of heart-warming stories about people who have kept a pet even though they faced some challenges that threatened that commitment. Find the whole collection of stories along with downloadable copies to share by clicking here.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
Reflections on Riamfada at edge of the Empty Quarter and some rants
(written on wednesday 10 Mar 2010 in attempt to post prior to weekend)
That 2 ½ minutes of pure terror mixed with that bit of exhilaration for me still weighed on my mind even now more than 10 days after that event.
I think an appropriate name to that flight will be ‘exuberance’ flight instead of the other names I had given earlier.
I hope that put paid to any of you folks thinking of doing free flights in the open like what I have done.
Allowing your parrot to fly in your home after you secured the flight perimeter and make safe the inside will be more than enough for his/her physical and mental well being.
Take her outdoors by all means so he/she can feel the wind and the sun and see more than just the 4 walls. Take him/her outdoors safely in a harness and leash and NEVER EVER HOLD THE LEASH BY HAND AND ALWAYS CARABINERED THE LEASH TO YOU OR BACKPACK.
I have said every time I thought I knew more, the horizon of what I need to know receded even further making me feel that I known even less. I feel myself to be more and more the perpertual student.
Probably people wiser and smarter than me can become the ‘expert’ that they yearned to be. So much so that they became ‘expert’ even in matters that they knew little or nothing about.
A Story of Love, Compassion, Friendship & Loyalty
About eight years ago a wild Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew into a car and broke its wing. The motorist took it to the Vet in Nerang, Queensland, who had to amputate the wing. We adopted her – for which we needed a National Parks and Wildlife permit – and kept her in a cage outside where she was often visited by wild Cockatoos. One of the things that impressed us was how she would push lettuce leaves through the bars of the cage, offering food to visitors.
Last Sunday 23 July 2006, she again had a visitor.
Click http://www.juliusbergh.com/cocky/ for the rest of the lovely story and gorgeous pictures!!!
For, cockatoos, parrots, parakeets, cockatiels, conures, quakers, finches, budgies, African grey parrots, macaws, canaries. Our Our 2 most visited pages are this one for birds, and SequoiaSempervirens. Copyright 2004 – 2009 by M. D. Vaden ~ Image at right: Gizmo, one of our green cheek Conures.
Safe & harmful woods lists for pet birds and perches: trees or woody plants for bird toys and perches in bird cages or flight cages. A popular page for pet birds: finches to budgies & parrots to cockatoos – updated January 1, 2010.
It’s Time To FORAGE! Let us help divide your parrots time and eliminate boredom today! It’s Parrot Pockets–the Ultimate Foraging TOY!’
Welcome to the first edition of the PARROT POCKET site. Parrot Pockets promote foraging and enrichment in parrots of all kinds. Initially, the Pocket is easy to access food from the top. This initiates the parrot’s interest in the Pocket. Then, as the food becomes difficult to access from the top, food is still seen and available through the holes on one side. The parrot then begins the task of true foraging–working for each morsel of food acquired. Many times, in the initial attempts at learning foraging, parrots will destroy their first Pocket. That’s okay. Eventually, they will understand to pull the food out. Once that happens, food will remain in the dish and the Pocket will be the place to go to for that pelleted diet.